BREAKING! Diane Sawyer to Exit as ABC WORLD NEWS Anchor; David Muir to Step In
ABC News today announced new roles for anchors Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos and David Muir. Sawyer will lead new programming tackling big issues and extraordinary interviews. Stephanopoulos, Anchor of "Good Morning America" and "This Week," has been promoted to Chief Anchor of ABC News, handling special reports and breaking news. Muir, Anchor of "20/20," will become Anchor and Managing Editor of World News starting September 2.
"We have an extraordinary team of anchors who are gifted storytellers and uniquely skilled broadcasters," said James Goldston, president, ABC News. "For years to come, they will inspire us all to do our best work and set a high bar for excellence to inform, empower and inspire our viewers."
After leading "World News," the network's flagship broadcast, for nearly five years and to a number one finish in the May sweep, Sawyer has decided to step aside from anchoring a daily program to concentrate full time on new programming. She will lead a team to create and commission original reporting and major interviews for all ABC News programs and platforms. Sawyer will anchor and produce television specials and continue to interview the most extraordinary people in the world.
"For many years to come Diane will be a driving force at ABC News with her exceptional storytelling genius," he added. "She is one of the giants of modern journalism. Her curiosity, passion and energy are unmatched, and I can't wait to see where she'll lead us next."
"After wonderful years at 'World News' I decided it is time to move to a new full time role at ABC News. I'll be joined by an incredible team of journalists dedicated to enterprise reporting, innovative approaches to breaking news and new ways of thinking about big issues and events around the world," Sawyer said. "I can't wait to continue bringing more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well. And to my friends and colleagues George and David - congratulations. I look forward to exciting work together and great times ahead."
"World News" won the May Sweep in Adults 25-54, the evening broadcast's first sweeps victory in more than six years. Season to date, "World News" is up versus the same point last year in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, delivering its most-watched season in five years and best news demo number in three years. "World News" is the only evening newscast to improve on its news demo performance from the previous season compared to NBC and CBS.
Stephanopoulos will add the duties of Chief Anchor of ABC News to his responsibilities. For the last four years he has helped lead "Good Morning America" to number one, and after returning to the program two years ago, has driven "This Week" to its best competitive position in a generation. In his new role, Stephanopoulos will also lead the network's coverage of special events and breaking news.
The best political journalist on television, Stephanopoulos will also lead ABC News' election coverage starting with the mid-terms this fall, the 2016 presidential race and beyond.
"George skillfully navigates uncertain and unfolding situations. He is adept at balancing both complex global and public policy questions and deeply personal and emotional stories," said Goldston. "He brings to all our programs and live coverage his tremendous intellect, competitive drive and unwavering work ethic. The news division simply could not be in stronger hands with George in this new and vital role."